November 15, 2013

The Big Buddha

One of the days in Hong Kong, I managed to finish my work in time to head over to the Tian Tan Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery.

My original hope had been to hike from Tung Chung up to Ngong Ping, but after doing a bunch of online reading, I realized I was woefully underprepared to take on that challenge.  It was more like a full day commitment, not something I could start in on at 3:30 PM unless I wanted to be on a challenging hike in the dark in a foreign land by myself (not so much).

A portion of the hike.  The Internet did not lie -- it would have been a big commitment.

So, I rode the Ngong Ping 360 cable car.  Thanks to GK, I knew to splurge on the Crystal Palace car so I wouldn't have to wait for hours to get back down (which is the true benefit of the expensive ticket), but this meant I also had a glass-bottomed ride.

Bright blue shoes --> many compliments from Chinese and Hong Kong strangers.

You can see the big Buddha far far away in this shot

Once in Ngong Ping, I visited the Po Lin Monastery and was very happy that hadn't been my only reason for the visit.  As it, like many things in Hong Kong, was under construction.

From there, I headed out for the jauntily named "Ngong Ping Fun Walk."  Which was a wonderful hike.  It was a 2.5K loop with about 300 feet of gain that I had entirely to myself until I reached the so-called Wisdom Path.  Despite its engaging name, and hundreds of tourists in Ngong Ping, I appeared to be the only person who wanted to go on the fun walk.  They were missing out.  It was fun.

Gate to Lantau Peak Trail at the entrance to the Wisdom Path

Wisdom Path

I don't think I'd ever seen a Tea Tree before...
At the end of the loop, I could see the Big Buddha through the trees.

Just below the view above was this one:

To close out my day, I hiked up the 240 steps to the base of the Big Buddha.

He was very big.

I added a few more stairs by visiting all the different levels, made an offering, and hoofed it back down and through Ngong Ping where, as promised, I was able to skip the normal car line and go straight to the front to wait for my Crystal Palace gondola to take me back in time for dinner with E.


Jen said...

Cool photos! Thanks for sharing.

bt said...

Thanks, Jen. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, for sure.

FL said...

Wow that is one BIG BUDDHA. Glass bottom gondola was also definitely very cool (in addition to skipping the queue).

bt said...

@FL -- yes. Apparently there are many big buddhas so it has to content itself with being the "largest bronze outdoor sitting buddha."